Bicyclists should feel safe to ride on the area’s roads, but this was not the case for one woman who was seriously injured after falling from her bike while riding in La Jolla. The roadway was dangerous because of a large pothole that caused her to fall. The woman filed a lawsuit and recently received a settlement of $235,000 from the City of San Diego.
Large Pothole Caused Injuries
The woman was riding her bicycle when she hit a pothole that was about 15 inches wide and three inches deep. The pothole caused her to flip over the handlebars of her bike. As a result, she sustained a head injury, as well as injuries to her pelvis and lower back. In this case, the woman filed a claim alleging that the City and County of San Diego were responsible for her injuries because they failed to keep the roadway properly maintained.
Improperly Maintained Road
Many reports of dangerous potholes were made, including ones specific to the road where the woman’s accident occurred. The road was hazardous to bicyclists and vehicles because it was in a severe state of disrepair. The City of San Diego apparently was aware of the dangers, but did not take corrective action. This constitutes negligence on the part of those responsible for road care, which in this case is the City of San Diego.
Other Lawsuits Were Filed
In addition to reports of road hazards, multiple lawsuits were filed against the city regarding dangerous conditions. These other claims were used to help prove that the defendants knew about the potholes and unsafe roadways. Although they were informed through various methods, the roads were not repaired and the dangerous conditions were allowed to exist. Had the roads been properly maintained, the woman’s accident might not have occurred.
Municipalities Held Responsible
Generally, municipalities are held responsible for maintaining safe roadways. However, if they were unaware of the condition, they may not be held liable. In this case, the municipality knew of the dangerous roadway but failed to repair it. In similar situations, an expert may be required to review the pothole or road condition in question. The professional may be able to determine how long the problem existed. If the pothole has been there for some time, it may be assumed that the municipality should have known about its existence.
When an accident occurs because of a dangerous roadway, the municipality may be responsible for any injuries that have occurred. If the condition caused a motor vehicle accident or bicycle accident with major injuries, the victim may be able to bring legal action against the city, county, or other responsible party. Victims may be owed money for medical expenses, and other damages such as pain and suffering and/or lost wages.
If you were seriously hurt as the result of a dangerous road condition, you may be able to take legal action. Contact the legal team at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea to schedule a consultation today.